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LivePlan The World’s Most Popular Business Plan Software For Small Businesses

LivePlan Business Plan Software As per the Small Business Administration (SBA) of the USA, a small business is officially classified as an enterprise employing fewer than 500 individuals. According to SmallBiz Trends statistics, a mere 40% of small businesses manage to attain profitability. Fundera reports that a staggering 82% of small businesses meet their demise due to issues stemming from inconsistent or insufficient cash flows. Furthermore, CBInsights indicates that 17% of small businesses face failure due to the absence of a viable business model.

In alignment with data from Excellent Business Plans, it is revealed that 23% of businesses in the UK operate without a documented business plan. Additionally, a significant 50% of newly established businesses succumb to failure within a 5-year timeframe.

The remedy to these concerning statistics is found in the meticulous preparation of a comprehensive business plan.

What is a business plan?

A business plan is a comprehensive document that encapsulates various facets of a business, encompassing:

-The nature of the business

-Target market analysis

-Description of products/services

-Financial forecasts

-Marketing strategies

-Business potential and growth projections

In essence, it serves as a condensed overview of a business's sales, operational, and financial objectives, outlining the strategies to achieve them.

Whether you are in the process of launching a new business or managing an existing one, a business plan is indispensable. The following points underscore the significance of a business plan for every small business:

1. Facilitates Informed Decision-Making:
LivePlan Business Plan Software
Acknowledging the challenges inherent in entrepreneurship, characterized by intricate decision-making processes, is crucial. Comparable to a chess game, where each move necessitates strategic planning, entrepreneurship demands a thoughtful approach to decision-making. The precision of decisions becomes paramount, as a misstep or a correct decision implemented at an inopportune moment can lead to adverse outcomes.

A meticulously crafted business plan for your small business serves as a preemptive tool, allowing for the anticipation and resolution of critical decisions well in advance. Whether concerning your target market, marketing strategies, or product offerings, these pivotal decisions are best clarified before initiating the operational dynamics of your business.

2. Serves as a Navigational Guide:

While acknowledging the inevitability of changes throughout the business journey, the absence of a plan can lead to a bewildering and directionless path. Consider this analogy: envision Mr. X enthusiastically preparing for a trip. He packs his bags, instructs his family to do the same, and everyone eagerly embarks on the journey.

However, if Mr. X has not meticulously planned the destination, milestones, or pit stops, the expedition could be constrained to a brief and unsatisfactory ride. This situation mirrors the potential plight of a business without a comprehensive plan. The lack of strategic planning may prompt businesses to settle for modest success when they possess the latent capacity for more substantial achievements.

A business plan acts as the essential guide, ensuring that critical aspects are considered and mapped out, paving the way for sustained and meaningful success.

3. Establishes Feasibility and Viability:

The success of any venture hinges on the existence of a genuine demand for the proposed offerings. Without substantiated research supporting business decisions, the endeavor may face the risk of failure. Crafting a business plan compels a thorough examination of the market, enhancing market comprehension, and providing insights into the feasibility and viability of the venture within prevailing market conditions. It also facilitates a deeper understanding of competitors and customer dynamics.

4. Integral for Securing Financial Support:

A business plan is an imperative prerequisite when seeking investment or obtaining bank loans for your enterprise. Potential investors or lenders will invariably seek a comprehensive understanding of your business, evaluating its viability, potential, and anticipated outcomes before committing financial resources. Even if your intention is to secure funding in the long term, having a well-structured business plan from the outset lays a foundation for future financial endeavors.

5. Facilitates Team Attraction:

In the inception of a new business, the formulation of a transparent business plan is paramount to attracting the right talents for the management team, partnerships, and employee roles. A well-defined plan elucidates the business's potential, vision, mission, and objectives, offering prospective team members insights into the anticipated short and long-term returns on their investments of time, money, or both. The absence of a clear plan is likely to deter individuals from associating with a business, emphasizing the pivotal role a business plan plays in talent acquisition.

6. Mitigates Risks and Averts Pitfalls:

In the entrepreneurial journey, risk is inherent, but a comprehensive plan enables proactive risk management. Effective resource allocation can be pre-planned, mitigating potential risks related to business finances, market dynamics, product enhancements, or fluctuations in demand. Shielding the business from unforeseen shocks and surprises, particularly those discernible with a well-structured plan, becomes instrumental in minimizing the long-lasting impact of uncertainties.

7. Establishes Clear Goals and Milestones:

Clarity in business objectives enhances performance, and a meticulously crafted business plan plays a vital role in setting and defining goals and milestones. These well-defined targets motivate and inspire both you and your team to channel efforts toward their achievement, fostering a sense of direction and purpose within the business.

What is LivePlan?
LivePlan Business Plan Software
LivePlan, developed by Palo Alto Software headquartered in Oregon, USA, is a comprehensive business planning software designed to facilitate the efficient and streamlined creation of business plans. Geared towards simplicity and effectiveness, LivePlan has gained popularity among small businesses, with over 850,000 users relying on its features for business planning, forecasting, budgeting, and performance tracking. Here are key features that contribute to its status as the world's most popular business plan software for small businesses:

1. One-Page Plan:

For small businesses venturing into the realm of business planning for the first time, the prospect of creating a detailed plan can be daunting. The intricacies of business plan terminology may pose challenges initially, and a comprehensive plan typically delves into various facets such as sales forecasts, financial projections, and marketing strategies. However, grasping the basics and fundamental aspects—an overview of the business—is crucial before delving into the details.

LivePlan addresses this challenge by facilitating the creation of a simple one-page business plan, offering answers to fundamental questions such as:

- Identification of the target market (Who your customers are).

- Outline of sales and marketing activities.

- Description of products and services.

This concise one-page business plan serves as an effective elevator pitch for your business, enabling you to succinctly explain your business to anyone in less than 60 seconds. Sharing the one-page plan is convenient, as you can either provide a link to your plan or export it as a presentation. Furthermore, the plan is easily updatable, allowing for adjustments whenever changes are warranted.

2. Step-by-step guidance for the detailed plan:

Following the creation of a one-page plan, the next crucial step is delving into the intricacies of a detailed business plan for your venture. Without proper guidance, this stage can feel like navigating through a jungle, with uncertainties and challenges at every turn. LivePlan not only saves you the time and effort of exploration but also spares you from the hurdles, emotions, and ambiguity that often accompany the planning process. LivePlan stands as your companion, offering step-by-step guidance to ensure you are never alone on your entrepreneurial journey.

Upon logging in, LivePlan presents prompts, video and text tutorials, along with definitions of key terms seamlessly integrated into the platform. This information is paramount for the creation of an effective business plan. Should you require further assistance, the help center provides comprehensive articles addressing a myriad of questions. For those seeking human assistance, LivePlan's Customer Advocacy Team comprises industry experts with a remarkable 99% customer satisfaction rate. Connectivity options include chat, call, and email, ensuring that support is readily accessible whenever needed.

3. 500 Sample plans:

Crafting a business plan can be challenging, especially for those without prior experience. LivePlan alleviates this challenge by providing a resourceful library comprising 500 sample business plans, spanning across more than 100 industries and encompassing nearly all types of businesses. Whether you seek a business plan for a dental clinic, an online store, or any other business category, LivePlan is likely to have a relevant sample plan. Even in the absence of an exact match for your specific business, there's no cause for concern. The key is not to find an identical match but to obtain a business plan that serves as a guide, offering insights into the essential aspects that need to be covered.

4. Financial Forecasts:
LivePlan Business Plan Software
LivePlan streamlines the process of creating financial forecasts, eliminating the need for intricate spreadsheet navigation and complex formula work. Once you input data such as expected sales, projected hiring figures, and other anticipated expenses, LivePlan automatically generates your financial statements based on these forecasts. Whether your business is a bakery, an online venture, or a manufacturing unit, LivePlan offers a range of popular forecasting options for revenues, including subscription revenue, product sales, hourly rates, and more. To enhance the visual appeal of your financial forecasts, LivePlan incorporates beautiful graphs and charts.

- Drag and Drop Forecasting: For those inclined towards visual representation, LivePlan provides a user-friendly drag-and-drop interface to input your data.

- Industry Benchmark Comparison: After inputting your estimates, LivePlan allows you to compare them with industry benchmarks, providing insights into the accuracy of your numbers.

- Scenario Creation: LivePlan empowers you to explore different business scenarios by allowing you to assess the impact of various factors. For instance, you can project outcomes if you hire more people, surpass sales expectations, or evaluate other scenarios to gain a comprehensive understanding of your business and enhance preparedness for different situations.

From Revenue Forecasts, Expense Budgets, Profit and Loss Statements, Balance Sheets, Cash Flow Statements, Cash Forecasts, and various other critical financial reports, LivePlan provides a comprehensive suite of tools for financial planning and analysis.

5. Lender-Ready Themes:

Recognizing that investors value well-designed plans over plain documents, LivePlan offers a solution for those who may lack creative design skills. After inputting all the necessary details, LivePlan automatically generates a beautifully designed business plan. Users can select from a choice of 10 professionally designed themes that best suit their business, transforming the business plan from a basic document into an engaging presentation that captures an investor's interest. Similar to the one-page plan, the user can easily share the plan via a link or export it to PowerPoint. For those who prefer a printed version, LivePlan allows for quick and convenient printing directly within the app.

6. Performance Dashboard:

LivePlan seamlessly integrates with accounting software such as QuickBooks or Xero, automatically importing essential metrics like revenue, expenses, and other core business indicators. The performance dashboard displays these vital metrics, providing users with a consolidated view for regular review. This feature facilitates a comparative analysis of actual results against financial forecasts for the corresponding period, empowering users to make informed strategic decisions to maintain financial health.

7. Milestone Scheduling:

With forecasts clarified and goals established, LivePlan recognizes the importance of frequent reminders to stay on track. Tasks may need delegation within the team, or team members may need synchronization with progress toward goals. LivePlan allows users to create milestones and set reminders, fostering collaborative efforts and enabling teams to work together toward shared achievements.

LivePlan can be particularly beneficial for various types of small businesses, including:

- Coffee Shops/Cafes

- Restaurants

- Real Estate

- eCommerce and Online Stores

- Salons and Spas

- Farming and Agriculture


LivePlan offers cost-effective pricing plans to cater to diverse business needs. For an annual subscription, the rate is $15 per month, billed annually. If opting for a 6-month package, the cost is $18 per month. For flexible, pay-as-you-go access, the monthly subscription is available at $20.

For businesses specifically interested in individual services, LivePlan provides the following options:

- Cash Forecasts: Available as a standalone service at $10.

- Investor Pitch Deck: The preparation of an Investor Pitch Deck can be procured independently at $10.

These pricing options make LivePlan an affordable and flexible solution for businesses seeking comprehensive business planning tools and services.

A business plan is indispensable for business success, with studies revealing a 30% faster growth rate for companies that plan and track their strategies. Facilitating decision-making, averting pitfalls, and securing funding, a business plan is crucial.
As stated by Mr. Sujit Lalwani, Founder of iU, "A vision with clarity, becomes a vision to reality." LivePlan streamlines the planning process, providing an accessible and efficient platform to transform visions into actionable plans. For any business, LivePlan is an essential tool for success.

Copyrights © 2024 Inspiration Unlimited eMagazine

Any facts, figures or references stated here are made by the author & don't reflect the endorsement of iU at all times unless otherwise drafted by official staff at iU. This article was first published here on 2nd March 2024.

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